Relax and soak up the atmosphere of this quaint historic town with its surprising array of shops and businesses situated amongst narrow medieval streets that are dominated by an imposing Norman castle. Experience a town steeped in history, surrounded by rolling countryside, ideally situated to explore the beautiful Tamar Valley, and North Cornwall with its dramatic coastline and fascinating heritage.
Launceston offers specialty shops selling locally produced foods through to unique and unusual gifts all situated within the towns narrow streets. The indoor Friday Markets' at St Mary's Hall and Central Methodist Church Hall both stock locally produced food, alongside an assortment of local crafts, gifts, and plants.
The bustling Butter Market is held in the Town Square (on the site of the original Market). Here you can browse the varied stalls with their wide variety of goods including local foods, hand crafted jewellery, candles, soaps and many other interesting and unusual gifts and essentials.
Follow the town trails, winding past St Mary's Church, famed for its extravagantly carved exterior, visit the award winning Lawrence House Museum sited in a fine example of Georgian architecture. Up to the castle keep where you can enjoy panoramic views stretching far beyond Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor or down to Launceston Steam Railway and take a ride through the glorious Kensey Valley to New Mills Farm Park, a must do family attraction.
Alternatively sit on the castle green on a warm summer’s day and admire the intricate pattern of the townscape looking down to St. Thomas and Newport, and across to St. Stephens and its Church, set high on a hill. At the end of a leisurely walk why not stop at one of Launceston's many cafés, or for something more substantial there are restaurants and bistro's serving a variety of cuisines during the day and the evening.
Outside of the town there are many villages that are worthy of exploration. Village walks, ancient Cornish houses and buildings, churches, local arts, crafts, produce and all manner of events from fetes to theatre and festivals are there to be discovered and enjoyed.
Leisure activities available in Launceston include two excellent golf courses, one at Trethorne, the other near the St. Stephens area of Launceston, fishing on the nearby River Tamar, horse riding, paint balling, a leisure centre with pool, walking and field and country sports.
Launceston Castle is the starting point for two long distance walks, The Two Castles Trail between Launceston and Okehampton Castle, and the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail between Launceston and Plymouth.
When looking for family attractions and things to do, take the children to Trethorne Leisure Farm whatever the weather, for indoor and outdoor excitement. If you fancy a challenge, head to Hidden Valley Discovery Park and Hunt for the Lost Crystal, a devious challenge for the family to solve. When you have cracked the puzzle, relax and enjoy a ride on the light railway, or find your way through the maze, great fun whatever your age. Whether you have children in the party or not, the Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre, where you can see otters at close quarters, is a delightful conservation centre with an award winning cafe set in rolling countryside.